Lifehacker readers offer their best tips for filling out comment cards at restaurants, playing video streams in VLC, and cleaning up a full SSD.
Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.
Fill Out Comment Cards (Kindly) for Free Stuff
Heather Doozer discovers kindness has its rewards:
Maybe you've mentioned this before, but giving honest, helpful, but not nasty criticism on comment cards can get you lots of free stuff. Most recently I made a comment that my Mojito at a pretty expensive restaurant, wasn't made how I like it.
I gave them some suggestions about how else I would personally like things a bit better when they called. Instead of just getting one free dessert or whatever they gave me a thing for my whole group.
Thought you might wanna know!
Photo by sethoscope.
Get the URL of a Video Stream with Chrome's Developer Console
Anthony Harris finds a way to play video streams in VLC:
I like to watch the Rooster Teeth video podcast while I play games on my PC (Dual monitors). The problem with this is that some games make it difficult or impossible to free the mouse (without crashing) to pause the video if something requires my attention. My solution to this is usually to play whatever video I'm watching in VLC and use media keys to pause the video. While this works great for YouTube, it's not so handy with the Rooster Teeth Podcast, as it's a subscriber-only video inside a Flash player, and is placed on YouTube by Rooster Teeth a week later. Previously, I'd attempted to find a way to download it so that I could run it in VLC, but had no success finding a method online.
Today, I was watching it on my way home from school on my Android phone, and it occurred to me that Android no longer supports Flash and that this must be streaming the MP4.
With that knowledge in mind, I opened the developer console in Chrome, clicked the settings button and changed chrome's UA string to identify as an Android Tablet.
After that, I loaded up the latest podcast page, right clicked the video and sure enough I was able to save the video or just grab the URL and give it directly to VLC to stream. This should work with other blip videos, so long as they also work on a phone, and best of all does not require any of those shady third party downloaders.
Periodically Check Your Home Folder for Space-Eating Files
Ted discovers where all his SSD space went:
I have a fairly small SSD, so I store most of my personal files on a regular drive as described in Lifehacker's guide. My SSD recently got close to its space limit and I thought I was screwed until I checked my home folder on the C: drive. I thought it was empty, but it turns out, VirtualBox stores all its virtual machines there by default, which were eating up space fast! So, I just moved them to my HDD and freed up a lot of space.
Make sure to check the usual suspects before you go deleting files and uninstalling programs!
Organise Your Home Screen Icons by Colour for Quick Access
Sveinn Birkir Bjornsson finds an easier way to organise his home screen:
So, I thought I'd send you some screengrabs from my iPad. I used to have trouble remembering which screen a particular app was on. Then I colour-coordinated all my apps and different screens. Now I only need to remember that Twitter is a blue app and Instapaper is a white app. This is a sneaky time saver. No more going back and forth between screens — and it looks so much better, too.